My Father has a great saying “Stay away from the darkness”.  It’s a simple rule that is easy to follow but things that are easy to do are easy not to do.  The darkness is a self imposed prison where we torture ourselves by reliving past events that we can not change, worrying about things that have not happened and focus on the things that we don’t want instead of what we would like to create.   The irony of this place is that misguided aspirations to be high achievers often lead us here.  Some of the main culprits include

  • Unrealistic Goals – placing goals at an enormously high level and then becoming disappointed when they are not achieved or you realize that you are not on pace to achieve them
  • The Need For Perfection – failure to accept mistakes so once something goes wrong or you fall off course it’s over.  Even worse you punish your mistakes by doing more of the mistakes
  • Comparing Yourself To Others – using how you compare to others as a measuring stick for success

If you find yourself in the darkness, know that you are not alone.  Just like you lead yourself there you must lead yourself out.  Here are some techniques that I’ve used as slump busters to break out of down seasons and get out of the dark place.

  • Start rigging the game for you to win – lighten up your load, set up some winnable days.  As they do in major college football, put some cupcakes on your schedule.  Small victories count and seeing yourself lining up a few wins goes a long ways
  • Take a break from keeping score –  even if just temporarily turn the scoreboard off.  Focus on celebrating the effort that you are putting in regardless of the outcome.
  • Focus on your progress – As you get back up and going keep your focus on your progress from where you were.  Don’t look too far ahead and don’t look back.  Take it one day at a time and enjoy the journey #ballislife